A short while after the iPad was released I wrote a blog post about how intrigued I was that the ipad may benefit Liam. I said,
I think [the iPad] could also be used in aiding communication for children like Liam. Press this section of the screen to tell mommy your diaper needs changing, press the green box to say ‘I’m hungry’. Press the red section after a kiss to tell Mommy that you love her too! Think Stephen Hawking but simplified. Although he can make sounds vocally, Liam’s diagnosis may prevent him from “speaking” to his mom and I. He can still communicate needs and wants. He can still appreciate cause and effect relationships and I’d like to see if the iPad interface could be customized in ways that flash cards and the big buttons and switches (which we currently use) can. As he grows older I think this could come in handy.
Soon after writing that I quickly moved on to other things seeing as how coming up with the money for an ipad wasn’t very likely. Luckily many, many people much much smarter than I am were working on apps to aid in teaching and communication and the ipad is becoming a must have for families with special needs. In the past few days I have found that there are popping up all sorts of resources to put ipads in the hands of kids who could use them in increasingly helpful ways.
Enter Mike. Mike is father to Marissa who suffers from infantile spasms, a term long time readers here will recognize. Mike runs an extraordinary blog about his family’s journey and has used that blog to help as many other special needs families as he can. Mike and his employer are giving away 5 ipads in a contest! You can find all the details here at the contest page.
So onto how you can help. You can tell everyone you know. I know some of you have special needs children yourselves and so I’m telling you to get your butts over to that page and enter your story. I also know that some of you work with children with special needs every day. Tell them about it. Tell those families, tell your friends, tell Facebook and the Twitter. Let’s all help Mike as he starts his new foundation by helping as many families as he can.
Update: In a tweet this morning Mike sent out word that there has been a huge response to this contest. He is asking for anyone who may work for or know a retailer or corporation who would like to donate so that the program could be extended or expanded. If anyone out there knows someone who fits that bill please send them to www.marissasbunny.com to help. Thanks.